It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Reflection on readings for September 5

Hear this, all you peoples;
give ear, all inhabitants of the world.
(Psalm 49:5)

Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:4
Chapter 10 lists warnings and advice for young people to consider; e.g., "Whoever digs a pit will fall into it," "If the snake bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage in a charmer," "Words spoken by the wise bring them favor, but the lips of the fools consume them," and "Feasts are made for laughter; wine gladdens life, and money meets every need."

In Chapter 11, the teacher offers age-appropriate advice including "Rejoice while you are young. " Then in Chapter 12, the teacher explains why--because old age is tough, really tough.

The epilogue to this book offers an appropriate summary: "Fear God, and keep the commandments, for that is the whole duty of everyone." Because I have so recently read the book of Job, I'm reluctant to affirm the last verse. It really does sound like something that Job's friends would have said; yet, it really does sound like something that we all believe.

2 Corinthians 8:1-15
There's a lot of poor people in the world. And there's a lot of the rest of us that don't think of ourselves as being all that rich. Paul told the Corinthians that they were supposed to give gifts relative to what they had. "It's only fair that those of you that have anything should be willing to share it," he said.

The United Methodist Church asks Can we feed the world? One in ten households in the U.S. lives with hunger, or is at risk of hunger. Around the world, almost a billion people go hungry.

Examples of how the church can help the poor include local food pantries, local markets, and international giving.

To read more about how the United Methodist Church responds to needs, go to the website UMC Giving

Psalm 49:1-20
Trusting in wealth and boasting of riches won't save your life.
Nobody lives forever.
Wise people die. Foolish people die.
None of them get to take their wealth with them.

Proverbs 22:20-21
Have I not written for you thirty sayings
    of admonition and knowledge
to show you what is right and true,
so that you may give a true answer
    to those who sent you?

Prayer for Today: O Lord, focus us on your will, your commands, your intentions so that we can use the gifts you have given us in the way you intend. Amen.

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